Naas delight for Grassick

Texas Rock (right) could contest the Royal Hunt Cup

Texas Rock gave an ultra-game front-running display to take the Listed honours in the Owenstown Stud Stakes at Naas.

Aidan O'Brien's Whitecliffsofdover was sent off the 8-13 favourite to follow up his Free Handicap victory, but he could never quite get to grips with Michael Grassick's six-year-old gelding.

The 16-1 shot was not for passing and crossed the line the head winner from Drumfad Bay under Billy Lee. Whitecliffsofdover was half a length away in third place.

It was a first Listed success for Grassick as he opened his account for the season.

"I felt the ground was a bit quicker off the rail and it didn't look like there was going to be anything to make the running, so we said we would play to our strengths," said the Curragh handler.

"There were a few six-furlong horses and we knew our horse stayed well. Turning in he got two or three lengths on them and that's what won it for him. He's tough and was pricking his ears just doing enough in front.

"I'm delighted as I bred him, and it means that bit more. We still have the mare at home.

"I was just hoping to get a bit of black type today but didn't expect to win. We will probably look for a similar type of race again or maybe take him to England for something like a Hunt Cup.

"He's entered in the Ballycorus Stakes at Leopardstown next month so that's a possibility, and he has more options now than he had before."

True Blue Moon supplemented his Dundalk debut success in the Coolmore War Command Rochestown Stakes.

The Joseph O'Brien-trained youngster came through strongly under Donnacha O'Brien in the closing stages to beat Verhoyen by half a length. British raider Simmy's Copshop, trained by Richard Fahey, was three-quarters of a length away in third.

Dali, the Aidan O'Brien-trained 7-4 favourite, lost all chance after being snatched up about a furlong out and finished last after being allowed to coast home by Ryan Moore.

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The winning trainer said after the 8-1 Listed strike: "He won nicely in Dundalk, but he had a little setback after that and we were a bit worried coming here. He's quick and tries hard, and Donnacha gave him a great ride. He should improve from that as he missed a week.

"He'd have to go to Ascot after that, but which race I'm not sure. I'd be inclined to stay at five (furlongs) as he's quick and travels well.

"It's the only horse that Brian (Nolan, from Maynooth) has with me. He bred him and has been lucky."

True Blue Moon was trimmed to 14-1 from 20-1 for the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot with RaceBets and 12-1 from 25s with Betfair.

Alpha Centauri stamped herself as a leading juvenile filly by turning the Coolmore Stud Irish EBF Fillies' Sprint Stakes into a procession.

Sent on her way as the 8-11 favourite, the daughter of Mastercraftsman travelled sweetly throughout for Colm O'Donoghue as Shapes set the pace.

Joining the leader at halfway in the six-furlong contest, the Jessica Harrington-trained youngster sprinted right way from her rivals to triumph by a long-looking five lengths from Actress. She was following up her course and distance win on her debut three weeks ago.

Harrington said: "The great thing today was she got a bit of an education, and she was behind for a while. She was very good, and when she went she just went.

"She's so relaxed and takes everything in her stride. She hardly break sweat."

She added: "If she goes to Ascot it would be for the Albany. She's such an easy filly to train, and she has some stride on her. I don't think going further will be any problem, as the further she went today the further she went away."

Alpha Centauri was halved to 3-1 from 6s for the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot by Paddy Power.

Michael Halford's Allography (7-1) stuck on dourly for 3lb claimer Conor McGovern to see off Escape Clause by half a length in the Follow Us On Facebook Handicap.

Halford, who will saddle Irishcorrespondent in the Irish 2,000 Guineas at the weekend, said: "He was dropped a few pounds and we decided to claim five off him with Conor, who gave him a very good ride. He kept it simple and is good value for his claim."

He added: "Both Irishcorrespondent and Rehana (Irish 1,000 Guineas) are in good form and on target for next weekend.

"It's probably going to be a long week, but the forecast is quite good and hopefully we will get decent ground.

"Irishcorrespondent has come out of his last race at the Curragh really well and is in fantastic form."

Jim Bolger's Constant Comment (8-1) got up in the shadow of the post for Kevin Manning to open her account in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden with a neck call over Betty Loch.

The Johnny Feane-trained Have A Nice Day (10-1) made light of a 149-day absence to take the Kildare Post & Kildare Now Handicap in the hands of 7lb claimer David Simmonson.


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